News - April 2019
This week, I’m putting the final touches on Wednesday’s
chapel presentation for EPCS (I know, what pastor takes on an extra service in
the middle of Lent??). Maybe I can blame the radio for playing all the right
songs, but how would you feel if I asked you to walk a tightrope 5 feet over
your friends? Oh, and one more thing, if you fall – you will most likely get
hurt, be embarrassed in front of the whole school, and you’d owe me 100 pushups (I can only be blamed for the last
one!). Would you do it?
I’m guessing most of you would respond with some form of
“Uh, no!” The crazy brave among you might say, “What’s in it for me?” I understand
both those responses. The Lenten season can be difficult because it asks us to
reflect on some things that can be frightening. It may even ask us to do things
that are downright scary. Ask someone for forgiveness? Be nice to the neighbor
who lives to torment me? Uh, no!
The finale to the season, Easter, can have its own give-you-the-shivers
moments, as well. Easter is the one Sunday where your unbelieving
brother-in-law might be willing to give church a try. It’s the one day that
might break the shell of that “atheist and proud of it” friend that has been on
your personal prayer list since who knows when. Such people are often labeled
Creasters (CHristmas/EASTER) or CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only). You know what
– one of those holidays is coming up! And I get it, inviting them to church
with you may make you think the tightrope would be easier.
Speaking of, back to the tightrope. What if I threw in
one more “one more thing”? What if, as you were stepping out, I allowed you to
put your hands on my shoulders and I would help hold your body steady? What if
I told six strong people to hold the rope still so it wouldn’t wobble under
your feet? What if I installed four-foot high crash mats underneath you? And
what if I told you that if you fell, Andrew’s karate class would do your 100
pushups for you? Perhaps all these “one more things” would make you…at least
God calls us to some pretty scary things sometimes, no
doubt. God has a track record of it, from the B.C. days until today and beyond.
Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, Rahab, Mary – just to name a few. But in every
scary instance, God is right there with us, making sure our stumbles don’t put
us face first in the dirt. God will send you the right words (even if those
words are “keep quiet”) and the right encouragement and, if you are brave
enough in Him to go through with whatever He’s asking, God can remind you in
overwhelming ways that you are doing something that really matters. God’s so creative in how He does it, but it is
world-rocking when it happens (I’d probably kill a rainforest if I wrote about
the times He has done this for me…even recently).
Know this – God has no problem making us brave when we’re
doing what He wants from us. Just ask.